While visiting my parents' home this past weekend, in an attempt to free up additional shelf space for them, I culled through my old book collection. Old favourites like Heidi, Wind in the Willows and The Complete Sherlock Holmes stayed behind and out went the "required reading" books that I never enjoyed and my old college textbooks. Sigh, those tomes that ended up as nightstands or evened out unbalanced tables that cost as much as a piece of furniture themselves (and I'm not talking Ikea price point). A popular destination for used books is the reused bookseller chain but I wasn't interested in waiting around for two hours and getting 25 cents per hardback and a nickel per paperback. My dad suggested donating them to our local public library.
I hadn't been inside a public library for over 10 years and it was most encouraging to see that it was packed on Saturday morning. Most noticeably different is the lack of librarians behind the checkout counter. Self-checkout machines must be a technological boon that allows librarians to be able to wander the floors helping patrons. Librarians themselves, however, are still the same smiling, reassuring ladies who will allow, nay assist!, you in your personal biblio-indulgence.
If I feel ambitious this weekend, I will try to go to my own local public library (show above) and sign up for a library card. I can go on and on regarding the overwhelming economical advantages but it's more than that. There's just something magical about the smell of books when you're browsing amongst the stacks.